ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reports that Adidas will not be renewing its contract to produce authentic NHL apparel and jerseys after the 2023-24 season. Wyshynski says Adidas “was the catalyst” for the decision to part ways. There are two seasons left on the seven-year contract worth over $70 million per season.
Adidas became the NHL’s jersey maker for the first time in the 2017-18 season after a 12-year run by Reebok (2005-06). The Capitals were the first team to lift the Stanley Cup wearing Adidas jerseys.
Adidas will be remembered as the originators of the popular Reverse Retro line in 2021 (see all jerseys), which brought some of the most iconic designs in NHL history back to the ice. The Carolina Hurricanes took over the Hartford Whalers logo while the Colorado Avalanche honored their history as the Quebec Nordiques. The Capitals’ red howling eagle design was the top-selling RR jersey online during the first week of sales.
The league will release a second volume of Reverse Retro jerseys next season. The Capitals are rumored to bring back the screaming eagle in black.
The NHL and Adidas will debut jersey ads for the first time next season.
Smiling from ear to ear in our signed Johnny Gaudreau #CBJ jersey 😄
Enter to win ➡️ https://t.co/iiLBgiGXBI pic.twitter.com/heM6VBqBOv
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) July 27, 2022
Adidas’ sweaters have generally been popular with fans as they fit the body and offer a variety of sizes ranging from 42 to 60. The biggest challenge of Adidas’ reign has been the general lack of availability of jerseys during popular outings. A source told RMNB this was due to worldwide production and shipping issues created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the next logical heir to the NHL is unknown, a major player could be Nike which already produces jerseys for the NFL, NBA and MLB. Under Armor produces jerseys for some NCAA teams. Fanatics, which is the official retailer of the NHL, has been producing replica NHL jerseys (breakaway jerseys) since 2017-18 and could also play a role.
According to Wyshynski’s story, the NHL has begun letting potential suitors know the rights are back.